Catherine Venusto: Lehigh mom allegedly hacked into school district computer to improve children’s grades

A former school district employee in Lehigh County was charged yesterday with hacking into the district’s computer system using the superintendent’s password to change her children’s grades, according to a report from The Allentown Morning Call.

Catherine Venusto, 45, a former secretary with the district, was charged with unlawful use of a computer and computer trespassing. She was arraigned and released on $30,000 unsecured bail.

Venusto allegedly admitted to making the switch as detectives questioned her last Thursday. Court records obtained by the paper show that Venusto’s daughter went from a failing grade to a medical leave status and her son’s grades rose from 98 to 99 percent.

Investigators reportedly said that Venusto used the superintendent’s login and password to access the district’s human resources system between August 2010 and February 2012 and broke into the district’s email system by using both the superintendent’s information and that of nine other district workers. In total, they said, she broke into the grading system 110 times and the computer system thousands of times.

Venusto allegedly told a judge that she logged on due to “curiosity
and boredom,” according to the report.

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